This is it. The big one. The grand finale. The last hurrah. The fat lady’s song. The final stand. The Man In The Iron Mask. The end of the line. The be all and quite literally end all. 2012, according to the Mayan calendar (and who’s to say their spiritual beliefs are any less valid than others?) is the year the world will come to an end. On my birthday no less, which is kind of cool and pretty awful at the same time.

So if this is the end of times, what comes after it? That must surely be the most terrifying wasteland imaginable, with each passing month holding its own individual monstrosities more sickening than the last.

But let’s be honest, that isn’t going to happen and so we’re just going to have to make something fitting that brief ourselves!

Twelve Months of Terror is my attempt, in a very small way, to craft something along those lines. So with each new month comes a new, unique horror. The above preamble might just seem like shoehorning a reason into a project of watching month-unique horrors for a year (it is), but it’s something I’ve pondered for a long time. I’ve always thought that there must be a horror movie for every special occasion of the year by now and after a little research, there is!

So, every month for a year I’m going to watch, examine and discuss a month-specific horror film and, in my own small way, compensate for the fact we should be getting to decapitate hoards of undead and dodge psychopaths in 2013.

The List

I’ve picked a selection that allows the discovery of unseen potential horror-gems as well as the re-discovery of some familiar classics. And some have just been picked because I just thought that they would be fascinating and/or hilarious to talk about. I’ve tried to cover a variety of tones and genres, though due to the month-based format, naturally, the bias lends itself to the Slasher genre.

This is where I could use some help from YOU however. This is not potentially a finished list and I would absolutely love and be incredibly grateful if you could offer some opinions in the comments section below.

January – New Year – New Year’s Evil

“Don’t dare make new year’s resolutions…unless you plan to live!”  (We would have to start with a tagline that makes no sense, wouldn’t we?)

New-years-evilOne of the cultiest of cult films (and readers of Culture Bomb will know I’m all about the culture of cult movies) and one that, judging by the synopsis, has a a steady and rapid terror rate. During a live televised new year celebration event, punk rock icon Blaze (not to be confused with Blaze Bayley‘s former band of course) receives a disguised phone-call claiming a ‘naughty girl’ will be ‘punished’ as every timezone hits midnight. A flop on release, New Year’s Evil intrigues by its devoted following and weird killer-personality despite this.

February – St. Valentine’s Day – My Bloody Valentine

“There’s more than one way to lose your heart…”

Quentin Tarantino‘s favourite slasher. ’nuff said? If not, then it’s an absolute horror classic, notorious, known by name and with a preceding reputation. But has it actually been seen by all that many?

March – St. Patrick’s Day  Leprechaun/Leprechaun 4: In Space/Leprechaun: In The Hood

“Your luck just ran out”/”One small step for man… one giant leap for terror”/”Evil’s in the house”)


20464I have no idea which of these to pick; I’m erring on the side of the original since it’s just that, but In Space and In The Hood have such notoriety its difficult not to go with one of these! In all, Warwick T. Davies (Wicket and Willow) stars in this soon to be rebooted franchise as the titular Leprechaun who has no problem resorting to murder when trying to retrieve his repeatedly stolen pot of gold.

April – Easter – Resurrection
“There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men. Ecclesiastes 6:1”

The Highlander himself, Christopher Lambert, stars in this French-released horror/thriller. A Cajun detective transferred to Chicago ends up on the trail of a psychopath who seems to be removing victim’s body-parts to reconstruct Christ’s body before Easter. Now if that’s not a logline, I don’t know what is.

May – VE Day – Dead Snow
“Ein! Zwei! Die!”

As if the tagline “Ein! Zwei! Die!” wasn’t reason enough . Dead Snow is a well-regarded Norwegian horror film in which some long-frozen Nazis are defrosted to cause merry hell in the snowy, isolated wilderness. And I haven’t  seen this yet?!

June – Fathers Day -The Stepfather

“He wanted a perfect family in a perfect town. But they couldn’t measure up… neither could the others.”

One for the Lost fans. Of all the films on this list, The Stepfather has the best and most intriguingly designed poster. Met with great critical acclaim upon release, the poster, premise and praise make this my most anticipated piece of cinema on the list. The fact it stars Terry O’Quinn doesn’t hurt either.

July – Bastille Day – Brotherhood of the Wolf (Le Pacte des loups)
“The Beast is Immortal”

Not only does July see the marking of the French celebration Bastille Day, but it also sees the the start of what are generally considered the Dog Days. French… dogs… Brotherhood of the Wolf seems to fit that bill nicely! I don’t feel Werewolves get the look-in they deserve in the horror pantheon compared to zombies and vampires, so here’s a shout-out to man’s worst friend.

August – Edinburgh Festival – Stitches

“Bad Clown”

Again, there’s a major hook here; not only is it Ross Noble‘s film debut, but he plays a murderous, psychotic clown to boot. A great premise and great praise for just how well a small budget can be utilized can’t help but spark the interest.

September – School Begins -Carrie

“If you’ve got a taste for terror…take Carrie to the prom”.

I’ve seen it. You’ve seen it (probably). We’ve all seen it (see previous brackets). But I’m willing to bet all parties haven’t seen it nearly recently enough. A bona fide classic of cinema with no necessity to narrow the margins to the horror genre alone. Always worth a re-watch, and it’ll be that sweeter waiting for the new school term to begin.

October – Halloween – Pumpkinhead/Halloween

“Cruel, devious, pure as venom. All hell’s broken lose”/”The night he came home”

pumpkinhead_poster_01halloween-poster_612x877Difficult this one. I’ve never seen Pumpkinhead. I first became aware of the film from the Movie Maniacs series of figures, and looking into it it seems very interesting. FX maestro Stan Winston’s directorial debut, it’s billed as a dark adult fairytale, based on a poem by Ed Justin and the creature work looks wonderful. Halloween on the other hand, well, is Halloween. Unarguably one of the greatest films ever made and a template for an entire genre. But has Halloween been discussed enough? Or more correctly, can Halloween be discussed enough?

November – Thanksgiving – Boogeyman/Thankskilling
“You thought it was just a story”/”Gobble, gobble, motherfucker!”
Sadly there’s not much in the way of Guy Fawkes horror movies, let alone Bonfire Night horror films. Next port of call was, naturally, the American celebration Thanksgiving. You can see where I was split here; shall I go for a genuine creep-show set around the occasion from the creator of The Evil Dead or shall I plump for a cursed-turkey revenge which Forbes (of all publications) called the fifth best Thanksgiving film ever. Both seem pretty good options right now!

December – Christmas – Silent Night, Deadly Night
“You’ve made it through Halloween. Now try and survive Christmas.”

It’s an appropriate Christmas present to end on this film. Having listened to my favourite under-grad film studies lecturer Shelly O’Brian wax lyrical about it, it’s one I’ve never gotten round to. Not only that, but this is a wonderful example of old-fashioned horror-controv that makes me nostalgic for a time I  wasn’t even alive to experience (ah to be young in the early 80s; the birth of Sunset Metal, NWOBM and all that Mary Whitehouse-baiting cinema…). Examples: American mega-reviewers Siskel and Ebert read aloud the credits of this film saying “shame, shame!” after each name in some ridiculous display of pompous righteousness; in response to public outrage Tristar Pictures pulled adverts for the film six days into its release; days after they were forced to pull the film itself. The stories continue. I can’t wait to get stuck into such a wonderful piece of Fuck You cinema. I imagine this is the way many punk fans my age must be nostalgic for a period they never experienced in the first place.

So that’s the list, as it stands. As you can seen there are several decisions to be made and I’d love some input on that from clever folks interested in film or those scholarly of cinema.

Do you have your own blog? Do you write for or own a website? Do you just like making web content, be it webcasts, video or blogs? If you’re interested in joining me in this Terrifying Twelve Months (or just a select one or few of them) then please let me know so I can join up with you and we can  take this ride together. I’d welcome you to write on this subject on this wee website or to team up and do some cross linking. I plan to buy all the films I don’t own but I have checked…other means of obtaining these films via the internet… and they are all there, if you wish.


RJ Bayley

(You can chat with me further about it via Twitter: @chunder_thunder )

What do you think of the list? Leave a comment.

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  1. Dan says:

    A great list here already but I would through in some ideas for a few months.

    January – Terror Train – A costume party on a train is interrupted by a psycho.

    February – Lovers Lane – An utter crapfest. A late 90s slasher film that rips off everything.

    April – Easter Bunny, Kil! Kill! – personally haven’t seen it, but it looks insane enough to have in the list.

    July – Uncle Sam – Celebrate the 4th of July with this patriotic comedy/horror.

    August – The Loved Ones – Women’s equality day is easily represented by this excellent Aussie horror. A female psycho who is one of the better horror characters to come out in recent years.

    That’s about it from me.

    • Thanks for the ideas! I did originally consider Easter Bunny, Kill, Kill! and Uncle Sam; the first I discounted because of apparently insensitive way it portrays disability. Uncle Sam, I just took one look at the trailer and thought “Wow, I have a lot of trash on here already!”

      Do you think Uncle Sam would be a good change for Bastille Day and not be too much trash overload?

      Anyone else got a call on that?

  2. Louise says:

    Can’t wait until May! Dead Snow looks both hilarious and terrifying 🙂

  3. Dan says:

    Okay Uncle Sam might be just too much.

  4. […] now we’ve survived apocalypse and will soon be into Twelve Months of Terror then what have we got to look forward […]

  5. […] to choose from the entirity of h0rror cinema and find a legitimate order for it…hence the article previous to […]

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